Plumbing group Ferguson raised its dividend and announced a share buyback on Tuesday after posting a higher half-year profit.
The firm was buoyed by cost control measures and a strong home improvement demand in its biggest market, the US.
The London-listed company, which has a secondary US listing, said underlying trading profit rose to $837m for the six months ended 31 January 2021.
This was more than a 12 per cent increase from the $746m reported a year ago.
Ferguson’s performance followed its US peers Home Depot and Lowe’s Cos Inc, who have also benefited from stuck-at-home Americans snapping up building materials through lockdown.
However, vaccine rollouts have led many to believe that the trend could fade.
The company raised interim dividend to 72.9 cents per share, which it said will be paid in May. It also announced a $400m share buyback.
Kevin Murphy, CEO of Ferguson, has backed the company to continue to thrive and tackle challenges in 2021.
“We are well positioned to manage through this environment, and we will continue to invest in talented associates and digital capabilities to serve our customers and take advantage of market opportunities,” he said.